The Last of Us online multiplayer is familiar but with enough of a twist to keep things fresh. Elements from story mode such as crafting weapons and listen mode are still present. There are two modes right now although more might be added with dlc. ( downloadable content ) The modes are Supply Raid and Survivors. Each mode consists of 4 on 4 team death matches. Supply Raid mode has a twenty minute timer and a limited number of respawns. You start with your team of 4 plus 20 lives for the entire team. Every time you or one of your teammates die a life is deducted from a shared pool. The main object is to wipe the other team out or have more total respawns than your opponents team when time runs out. Survivors mode has the same 4 on 4 team death match dynamic but the difference is that the mode is split into best of 7, 3 minute rounds, and if a player dies they stay dead until the next round. This makes your tactics into battle all the more important.
In each mode supply boxes are scattered throughout the different multiplayer maps. These supply boxes are invaluable for crafting items to help your team win. Anything from molotov cocktails to vicious melee weapons for hand to hand skirmishes can quickly swing the momentum in your favor. Like in story mode resources are limited so again use your items wisely. You can either choose from a preset class or you can create your own class using a limited amount of load-out points to equip your character before an online match. There are various weapons and abilities to equip your online character with. The basic outline is like this. You get 2 slots for guns, a primary and a secondary, 4 or 5 slots for different abilities like “marathon runner,” and 1 slot for a purchasable weapon if you so choose. The purchasable weapon is acquired by spending supplies you collect during matches and does not carry over after a match is finished. You are free to customize within those parameters anyway you see fit as long as you keep within your allotted load-out points.
Multiplayer online in The Last of Us is like a game within in a game. No its not as complicated or convoluted as the movie Inception but there is more here than just cut and dry death matches. Upon starting online multiplayer for the first time you will be asked to choose a faction. The Hunters or the Fireflies. This selects your online narrative and effects some minor cosmetic elements in your online experience. After a faction is chosen you are debriefed. Essentially you are given a clan of five people. Your goal is to grow this clan and help it to survive as best you can for a period of twelve weeks at which time help will arrive to save your clan. Sporadically throughout the twelve weeks you are given a list of tasks you need to complete within the multiplayer matches to help your clan survive. Tasks last for 3 days, or 3 matches and can be anything from reviving teammates to downing enemies with a certain weapon. The catch is every time you complete a task if you choose to do the same task again the number of times you have to do said task increases. So say you needed 3 downs with the hunting rifle, next time you will need 6 making it harder to complete within the 3 day window.
It is completely possible to fail a task and let your entire clan die. This means you will have to choose your faction again and start from the beginning. So choose your tasks wisely. You can equip guns with silencers at the cost of load-out points. Weapons can be upgraded but only with supplies you collect during matches. You can only acquire your purchasable weapon by spending in game supplies. You also have to collect a certain amount of supplies during a match to keep your clan fed. This adds another dynamic to attacking enemies because you might have a great shot on someone from far away but if you take him down, will you be able to swoop in and pick up the supplies he has dropped to help your clan? Your character has some customization as far as what they wear but they always spawn as a different type of person at the beginning of each match.
One thing I will say with The Last of Us multiplayer is that for some reason their seems to be an abundance of trolls. I have played many online multiplayer games before and have never encountered so many trolls. Obviously there are a lot of cool people to play with that make the online experience a lot of fun but I have gone entire sessions in the online multiplayer for The Last of Us where there was someone in every match who took away from my enjoyment of the experience. That aside I know the online game sounds a little complicated but once you get the hang of it, its pretty straight forward and can be a lot of fun and fairly addicting.